Zlatan has become a forgotten hero at Milan, all hail El Shaarawy

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When Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano both left Milan, the attack of the club was left in the hands of Alexandre Pato, Robinho, Bojan and Pazzini. However, no one would have expected young Stephan El Shaarawy to be to be sitting as Milan’s top-scorer this season.

In fact, El Shaarawy is not only Milan top-scorer but he’s the Serie A topscorer as well. His 14 strikes place him ahead of Cavani, Klose and Di Natale; all of whom are renowned for their goals. Additionally, the attacker has three assists to his name; the young man who was born in Savona, Italy is responsible for a little over 50% of the Rossoneri’s goals this year. His new role in the team has created more freedom on the field, allowing the attacker to flourish, without playing in the shadow of somebody else.

It was last summer that El Shaarawy signed for Milan from Genoa for a fee around €10m. It indeed looked a hefty sum for a 19-year-old who had previously only made one league appearance and mostly featured in Serie B during a loan spell at Padova. But with Italian clubs not so flush with cash and lowering their wage bills in recent years, El Shaarawy has become one of the many Italian youngsters benefiting of more playing time.

Despite his young age, which is becoming more and more irrelevant in the modern game, El Shaarawy has exhibited a wide array of talent. He boasts pace, expertly dribbles and now finishes, alongside possessing a keen sense of positioning and anticipation that sees him pop up in the right places at the right moments.

However, what’s most impressive about El Shaarawy is the maturity he displays in taking responsibility on the pitch. El Shaarawy has been the main and – often sometimes – the solo architect of several of Milan’s victories this year, mainly thanks to his goals. With the aforementioned departure of Ibrahimovic, who was such an overbearing presence and character in the team and the departure of the senatori, it was very surprising to see such a young player dauntlessly stepping up to the plate.

Especially when we consider the absence of natural leaders in this current Milan side and the difficult start of the season, El Shaarawy’s performances have been nothing short of breathtaking. It was no surprise to see his efforts rewarded with an Azzurri call-up which materialised with a goal in Italy’s 2-1 defeat during a friendly against France. In effect, El Shaarawy has become a fixture in this Milan team and the most important player almost overnight.

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It is pressure the young Italian international seems to relish under and in fact Il Faraone is making the case to being the most in-form youngster in Europe. It would be too hasty to say that El Shaarawy has become a leader, but he certainly has become an important emotional pillar in terms of morale for the Rossoneri.

So far and most importantly, El Shaarawy has exhibited tremendous consistency for such a young player and even more so he has shown that he can be decisive, and rise up to the occasion during the tough moments. It is that grit and maturity which is El Shaarawy’s most impressive attributes aside his evident footballing ability and talent.

El Shaarawy is indeed a very exciting youngster, sporting an iconic hiarcut and one Milan will certainly be looking to build there future upon in these times of transition for the Rossoneri. His performances have transformed him into a hero, idolised by fans and constantly praised by the journalist. And remember folks, he’s still 20.

This article was written by Ogo Sylla, our Serie A expert based in Senegal. You can follow him on Twitter @RossonerOgo_3. Comments below please.

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    When Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Antonio Cassano both left Milan, the attack of the club was left in the hands of Alexandre...
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    no, not true they will never forget him :( x(
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